On the Southwest coast of Mexico lies the Free and Sovereign State of Michoacán de Ocampo. One third of its economy is derived from agriculture. Along with its enormous lemon and mango plantations, well over of a million acres is devoted to avocado production. The U.S. consumes about 90% of the avocado harvest, which are produced year round and it boasts that avocados are delivered to the U.S. less than 48 hours after they are harvested. Michoacán can now boast of their fuerzas autodefensas (self-defense forces).
Farmers and the people of the state of Michoacán were being brutalized by a vicious drug cartel. Gangsters and thugs ruled Michoacán by theft, robbery, kidnapping, murder, and extortion. Their illegal activities also encompassed mining and logging. The group’s violence included savagely beheading their enemies. Too may people were losing their lives and freedom, or any sort of liberty, was being denied.
Note: Most troubling, is a recent development associated with their kidnappings, human organ harvesting, which reportedly targets children.
Farms were being stolen, either by cartel lawyers or at the point of a gun while store owners were being charged monthly fees, taxes were being imposed on all vehicles, and tariffs were put on crates of harvested fruit. The criminals were even preparing to tax housing based on square footage.
The Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) Cartel that ruled the region was reborn upon the ashes of La Familia after it dissolved in 2011 when its boss, Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, known as the “Craziest One,” was reportedly killed in a gun battle the year before. Prior to La Familia, the Gulf Cartel dominated the area after having achieved its dominance along the U.S. Mexican border starting in the 1970s.
The Knights Templar criminal organization’s tactics included acquiring the cooperation of corrupt local public officials and police through bribes, and when that didn’t work, with threats.
The state’s government officials were unable to bring the cartel under control. There were rumors that state government official were in collusion with the organized crime cartel.
Bringing this all to a head for the people of Michoacán was the rape and pillaging of girls and wives. Their government had lost control. Organized crime was in control. The people weren’t’ happy. They had finally had enough. Tired of the cartel’s reign of terror, the people banded together to form vigilante groups and took up arms in February 2013.
These vigilantes, or Autodefensa Michoacan were made up of local citizens and their numbers grew quickly to battle the threat disrupting their way of life and destroying the communities in which they lived. It wasn’t easy for them though. Legislation had dramatically limited their right to keep and bear arms, even though Article 10 of the Mexican Constitution of 1857 guaranteed it.
Article 10 was amended by a new Constitution in 1917 that said that the people could “for their protection, own guns and arms in their homes.” and that, “only arms sanctioned by the Army may be owned, and federal law will state the manner in which they can be used.” This lead to the classification of weapons whereby the law would state which weapons were for civilian use and which weapons were reserved for the armed forces and law enforcement agencies. hose weapons reserved for the armed forces and law enforcement were considered as being “weapons of war.”
In 1971 Article 10 was once again amended, this time severely restricting the right to keep and bear arms. The right to keep arms was limited to the home and the right to bear arms was reserved for those explicitly authorized by law, which pretty much meant police, military, and armed security officers.
The following year a new law was enacted (Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives) which virtually forbid anyone from openly carrying a firearm or concealed weapon in public. Private citizens that want to carry in public require authorization by the Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA). To learn more about gun politics in Mexico click here.
The lack of firearms had a dramatic effect, not only for the Mexican people but for the U.S. as well. The first drug trafficking organization in Mexico began after the Mexican people were disarmed.
Many of the guns that were stashed away came out from their hiding places when the vigilante autodefensas came about. The vigilantes were seeking justice and were relentless in their pursuit. They were making strides when the government couldn’t, or wouldn’t. People noticed. Soon other people were forming their own fuerzas autodefensas.
Before long, fuerzas autodefensas groups had been formed all over the country. In more than a dozen states and with more than 20,000 members the citizenry had said no to the violence and intimidation. They were fed up with more the than 90,000 deaths nationwide from drug violence and the cartels in the last seven years.
When they started, the autodefensas didn’t care that the Mexican government considered their activities illegal. They had a job to do and they were going to do it. The did it so well, in fact, that the government of Mexico took notice. It was announced in January of this year that the group leaders had agreed to accept an offer from the federal government to join official law enforcement efforts. More than likely, it was the federal government pleading with the autodefensas groups for their help.
So for now, the self-defense groups get to keep their weapons, as long as federal defense officials deem them legal. The government is going to help some of them with communications equipment and transportation. One self-defense group leader, Estanislao Beltrán, a lemon farmer said that, “We have no interest in weapons. We want them to put an end to this organized crime and we’ll go back to our work.”
The Knights Templar organization has taken a severe beating. As an organization they have been hurt badly. Many of their gang members have been either arrested or killed. The Knights Templars’ boss, the “Craziest One,” died for a second time earlier this month in another gun battle thanks to the efforts of the civilian self-defense groups.
Other drug cartels are on notice and have taken notice of the what may await them. They are concerned that if they don’t tread lightly where the Mexican people are concerned, they could be next on the list and have an autodefensas group in their own backyard. They know what happens when the people rise and stand up to tyranny.
Writes Chriss Street at American Thinker:
When President Barack Obama delivered his 2013 State of the Union address, he made an impassioned plea for lawmakers curtail Second Amendment rights by passing anti-gun violence legislation. The speech came just two months after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and the president was pushing very hard to leverage the dead children into the most sweeping gun control reforms in a generation. With his gun-ban agenda considered dead on Capitol Hill a year later, Barack Obama is now pledging to extra-constitutionally reduce guns “with or without Congress.”
The president dreams of making Chicago-style strict gun control the law of the land in neighborhoods across America. Each year, Likes.com takes a look at the “Top 20 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America” and Chicago is well represented. North Auburn Gresham in Chicago won with a violent crime rate of 73.5 chances of being murdered, raped and etc.per 1,000 residents. Chicago also won three of the next four “Most Dangerous Neighborhoods.”
Valiant avocado farmers in 100% gun controlled Mexico faced heavily armed drug cartel soldiers when they finally decided to break the law and fight back. In just a year, they ended the reign of terror and liberated their farms. These Exceptional Mexicans in Michoacán support Americans’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
The Michoacáns aren’t the first people to stand up and fight for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I’m guessing that they won’t be the last. Barrack Obama should take note of what they did. His gun control agenda is alarming America. It’s been said that he’s been the best gun salesman that this country has ever had, especially since gun sales in 2013 set a new record.
The people are fed up. They are fed up with the rapes and the robberies and the murders. They are fed up the Democrats and their gun restrictions that have turned major cities into major crime spree centers. And they are fed up with their gun-free zones that have have turned into kill-free zones. Their policies are failing. Take note President Obama, the people will rise when governments fail. And justice will be served.
- Exceptional Mexicans Support Second Amendment |American Thinker
- The Rise of Mexico’s Self-Defense Forces | Foreign Affairs
- Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, ‘slain’ cartel kingpin, dies a second time | CSMonitor.com
- Autodefensas Gain Legitimacy Where the Mexican State Has None | North American Congress on Latin America